Sunday, 1 November 2009

Strange Days Indeed

Got up, pulled-up, inhaled some white powder and photographed my nose. Yesterday, I had an out-of-focused nose (see: “On Powdering Your Nose”, 31/10/09). So this morning I straightened things out – I need to be focused.
Then I went out. But I didn’t even make it to the end of the road: Look at this.

Last night was Halloween.

It’s Sunday, so I fall onto my daybed with the papers. I look at this.

I’m going to bed early; Harry Houdini’s got me gripped (Brandon R, “The Life And Many Deaths Of Harry Houdini, Secker & Warburg, London, 1993). Houdini was a man of many obsessions. He specialised in death-defying escapes (for which his name became a byword); but what was Houdini really trying to escape from?

As for myself, I’ve spent the whole day trapped in yesterday’s blog – caught in its web. When I close my eyes I see my powdered nasal hair tangled up in the hedge. I'm even thinking of going back out and rearranging the Halloween decorations in my neighbour's hedge; in such a way that they mimic the peaks and troughs of the graph on the Business pages. AND ON THE SAME PAGE THERE'S A BUSINESSMAN PULLING - DOING PULL-UPS IN THE PAPER!

It’s been a funny Halloween and it’s getting even stranger. Houdini waged a long campaign against fake mediums (he fell out badly with his one-time-friend Arthur Conan-Doyle, a staunch believer in spiritualism). Houdini would often attend séances dressed in a “medium-trapping disguise”. I’m looking at a photograph of him wearing it; he looks more like Stanley Spencer, minus the pram. Here’s another image from the Houdini book. It shows ectoplasm emerging from a spiritualist’s nose. But this variety bears a remarkable resemblance to knitting wool (Vivian Stanshall of the Bonzo’s was a dedicated knitter – he’d been keenly ‘casting off’ since boyhood.

No, I’m going to read some Duchamp instead. Oh no! All that dust breading on “The Large Glass” (dust preserved in Man Ray's photograph, 1921). And the First Papers of Surrealism exhibition, which opened on October 14, 1942 at the Whitelaw Reid Mansion in midtown Manhattan, was both historic and peculiar. Duchamp had festooned the primary exhibition space (floor to ceiling) with a tangled web of sixteen miles of string!
At the show’s opening children ran around and played catch and some of the painters became annoyed because nobody could get to see the paintings. 

No comments:

Post a Comment